A best-selling text rich in case studies that reflects on the unique complexities of marriage, couples, and family counseling.
Developed for students, educators, supervisors, and practitioners alike, this text examines the significant classical and contemporary issues in marriage and family therapy. The text opens with a thoughtful discussion of client and therapist worldviews, value sensitive care, the ecology of therapy, and commonalities between personal and professional acculturation. Following the book’s preliminary discussion, the text moves on to consider the legal, ethical, and professional issues that marriage and family therapists face each day as well as the best strategies for navigating these issues.
The new fifth edition includes a number of new topics, including multicultural issues reflecting institutional oppression; boundary, competency, and liability concerns associated with technology-based client care; the significance of supervision in both skill acquisition and professional acculturation in one’s early career; nontraditional family care; conflicts between legal and ethical obligations; emerging issues in MFT licensure; and ethical and empirical considerations related to evidence-based care.
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The Second Edition, updated to incorporate the latest AAMFT Code of Ethics, offers a wealth of updated coverage, all geared to the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy standards. There are numerous new case studies, and new discussions of the differences between MFT as a distinct profession and MFT as a professional subspecialty. In addition, a completely new chapter explores contemporary ethical issues for which no formal precedent has yet been established. With its practical focus and planned, concise coverage, the book ensures students to gain both a theoretical background and an applications orientation. In each of the three major sections, chapters address "general" issues, as well as issues specific to marriage and family therapy. A concluding chapter in each section offers case illustrations that expand upon the material covered in the previous chapter. This two-step presentation helps students attain a greater understanding of how information is used in actual practice...and helps them more effectively internalize instruction.From the Inside Flap:
Although less than 100 years old, professional psychotherapy has become a major influence in society. Therapists contribute to and considerably affect many aspects of modern life. During this time, psychotherapy has broadened its perspective. No longer is it practiced exclusively on a one-therapist-to-one-client basis. Group therapy efforts have become commonplace in almost every mental health setting. Likewise, the last several decades have seen the advent of another expansion within the psychotherapeutic field, that of marriage and family therapy.
Many therapists have replaced or supplemented their traditional individual and group models of practice with one emphasizing couples and families as the dominant treatment focus. This is not to suggest that contact with marital partners and other family members had been completely ignored. Rather, marital partners and family members had always been considered in light of the individual client's concerns and from an individually oriented therapeutic perspective.
As the practice of marriage and family therapy has evolved, training procedures have become more explicit, replicable, and accessible. Specific theories and techniques have been identified. Broad curricular components for training have been compiled. And specific content, goals, and teaching methods for university coursework and professional workshops have been delineated. These materials and strategies all continue to be researched, evaluated, and enhanced. Noticeably lacking before the publication of the first edition of Ethical, Legal, and Professional Issues in the Practice of Marriage and Family Therapy, however, were sources addressing "nontherapy" issues necessary to supplement the therapeutic training of marriage and family therapists (Piercy & Sprenkle, 1983).
The importance of these nontherapy issues was emphasized in an article entitled "Family Therapy May Be Dangerous for Your Health" (Hare-Mustin, 1980), in which the author states:
In sum, family therapy may not be in the best interests of individual family members.
Family therapists and their clients need to be aware of possible risks to the rights of
the individual member. By being required to participate, individuals may have to
subordinate their own goals and give up limited confidentiality and privacy. In addition,
therapists who idealize the traditional family may foster stereotyped roles and expectations
in the family that disadvantage individuals and limit their well-being and mental health. (p. 938)
Although offerings in the professional literature and training opportunities at conferences and workshops have increased in both number and quality, nontherapy issues—particularly ethical, legal, and associated professional concerns—are still underrepresented in relation to their potential impact on the practice of many mental health professionals. The simple fact that marriage and family therapy differs from individual and group therapy on both conceptual and pragmatic levels requires that therapists be adequately prepared to handle controversial issues from a marriage and family perspective as well. Questions that are difficult in individual and group therapy can become significantly more complicated when a couple or whole family presents itself for services (Margolin, 1982).
The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, the professional organization with which most marriage and family therapists are primarily affiliated, specifies graduate-level coursework in "professional studies" as a requirement within its educational requirements for clinical membership. In response, courses in "ethical, legal, and professional issues" have been developed and constitute a core component of marriage and family training programs. The first and second editions of Ethical, Legal, and Professional Issues in the Practice of Marriage and Family Therapy served as a basic text for these courses as well as a primary source for practicing professionals seeking to expand their knowledge of ethical, legal, and professional issues in marriage and family therapy. ORGANIZATION OF THE TEXT
This third edition has been updated and expanded so that it may continue to serve as a basic resource for both beginning students and practicing professionals. It is divided into three parts. Part 1 addresses ethical issues in marriage and family therapy. Chapter 1 examines major ethical issues confronting all therapists, particularly the beginning marriage and family therapist and the experienced practitioner who is shifting from an individual approach to a marriage and family perspective. Chapter 2 discusses ethical issues inherent in the interactive nature of marriage and family therapy. Chapter 3 presents contemporary ethical issues for which there is little precedent; positions advocated in the professional literature and recommendations made for handling these issues are reviewed. Chapter 4 offers a "casebook" of examples with critiques highlighting the AAMFT Code of Ethics (American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, 1998). Part 2 considers legal issues in marriage and family therapy. Chapter 5 investigates the roles and relationships of marriage and family therapists within the legal system. Chapter 6 examines relevant family law. Chapter 7, like Chapter 4, is a casebook of examples with critiques discussing the impact of legal issues on marriage and family therapy. Part 3 focuses on professional issues. Chapter 8 discusses "valuing" and the professional practice of marriage and family therapy. Chapter 9 explores the professional identity of a marriage and family therapist. Chapter 10 offers another casebook of examples addressing professional questions.
Special attention should be paid to the three casebook chapters: 4, 7, and 10. We recall our days as clinicians-in-training seeking to fathom those notions we garnered from our readings. Classroom instructors and clinical supervisors, knowledgeable and skilled from years of experience, provided case examples to illustrate the concepts more clearly. Those illustrations made learning a more concrete experience, from which we emerged much better prepared.
Overall, this book seeks to encourage a greater familiarization and expansion of knowledge relevant to ethical, legal, and professional issues necessary to supplement clinical training and practice in marriage and family therapy We hope that you will gain an introduction to some of the issues you may encounter and that you will be stimulated to think about your own position as a marriage and family therapist, whether as a primary source of professional identity or professional specialization. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
So many persons have contributed, both directly and indirectly, to our personal and professional development and to the writing of this book that it is impossible to thank them all. We thank the majority of them as a group by offering this book as a contribution of social interest that will, we hope, enhance the lives of mental health professionals and the clients with whom they interact. A few individuals, however, need to be singled out for special thanks.
Lee Baruth coauthored the first edition of this book. Without his many contributions, this work would not have been possible. For their constructive suggestions during the preparation of the manuscript, we thank reviewers Robert Barrett, University of North Carolina-Charlotte; Sarah G. Gabbay, Colorado State University; Lizbeth Ann Gray, Oregon State University; and Michael Poison, East Carolina University. We are particularly indebted to Kevin Davis, the executive editor for this project at Merrill/Prentice Hall.
Finally, we thank those who have made personal contributions to our lives. From Sam Gladding: "I am indebted to my parents, Russell and Gertrude, for their attention to teaching me the importance of values at a young age. My wife, Claire, and our children, Ben, Nate, and Tim, have been both understanding and supportive during my times of writing for this book. A family's encouragement and company cannot be valued enough." From Ted Remley: "I want to thank my parents, TE and Era, for giving me the education necessary to write books. I also appreciate my extended family, close friends, colleagues, and graduate students for tolerating my absences when I write and my crabby disposition when I am trying to make deadlines." And from Charles Huber: "I thank my parents, Charles and Helen, for modeling for me those core ethical qualities I had only to label, not learn, when I began my professional training and later entered clinical practice. My partner, Betsy, and our children, David and Morgan, have been most patient during the writing of the revision."
Samuel T Gladding, Ph. D.
Theodore E Remley, Jr., Ph.D.
Charles H. Huber, Ph.D.
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